Stinky Scarpa – the end of my Scarpa trekking boots


The Scarpa trekking boots were the worst piece of equipment in many years of outdoor life. The high-alpine boots had cost almost 400 Euro and had the idel fit for my rather slim feet, but….

The Kevlar material at the shaft got holes at the inside of the ankle. A quick research showed that Kevlar is the material used to make bullet-proof clothing and supposedly very strong. But when I complained to Scarpa about the obvious flaw in the material, their comment was just “It can’t be our fault”. The guy in the sports shop even asked whether I had a walking disability, or cut into the material with something akin to a metal saw?


As Scarpa refused to replace or repair the shoe, I just fixed the hole with seamgrip. But even so the Scarpa trekking boots continued to deteriorate during several seasons of high-altitude hiking. Over the years, both the inside and outside material was worn to tatters, and for the past two years the shoes have been stinking fiendishly every time I wore them for more than 3 days in a row. Apparently, the combination of Kevlar, Goretex and a host of other materials is not sufficiently breathable to let the sweat ever get out. On the other hand, once they were wet they took just as long drying as normal leather hiking boots.


During our last trip in Kyrgyzstan, the tears in the toe cover had become so big that I had to fix both shoes with extra-strong duct tape. On the rocky trails going up to Lake Ala-Köl (3520 m) the tape didn’t last long, and the protective covers ripped open. By the end of the tour, the Kevlar upper material also got holes at the toes, and soon the boots were practically filled with water in the dewy meadows. And this was the end of a 5-year fight with those boots.

Admittedly, I used them for hiking, not only on well-maintained soft trails and not only once a year. But then that’s what they are made for, supposedly. The next hiking boots will be leather boots again, and definitely not from Scarpa.

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